Alpine’s 61st annual Second Term session opened this morning, Friday, July 5, under sunny skies. Gates opened just after 9 and vehicles streamed through steadily for the next several hours. 289 campers received cabin assignments at the front gate for one of 34 cabins. Soon they drove towards their summer home for the next 26 days.
On the other side of the front gate, 68 cabin counselors, 2 in each cabin, nervously and excitedly awaited the boys’ arrival. Soon introductions were made, beds quickly claimed and the work of settling in began. Into the cabin boys carried all they would need for the coming term. They carried flashlights, Bibles, sleeping bags. They also carried some nerves and expectations. They unloaded trunks and duffels, towels and sheets, and also, hopefully, some of the burdens of the past year. Pens and paper, maybe a ballcap and a glove, some soap and shampoo (and promises to mom to use it) - the same things campers have carried to camp for generations. And they carried too a lifetime of lessons from home. They are ready for this.
Last night we held our traditional Opening Day Eve meeting with staff. Among many necessities covered, I also reminded them of the bigger picture. Of why they are here. I’m a firm believer that we all must first answer the question “why” before we can be successful at any venture in life. I shared a lesser known greeting from Paul to Timothy in 2nd Timothy 1 where he reminds Timothy of the faith that first lived in his grandmother and mother. I asked the staff to think quietly for a few minutes about people in their life who have had a big impact on their faith, whether family or friends or mentors. And reminded them that God uses other people in our lives to grow our faith in Him. And that they have a chance to be one of those people for the boys who will be in their cabin this term. That is why we are here. Staff was excited and ready to go this morning!
My name is Glenn Breazeale. My wife is Carter, and we are second generation directors at Alpine, Carter being the daughter of Dick and Alice O’Ferrall. At 10 I was one of those nervous and excited campers carrying my stuff to a cabin. And I returned for 5 subsequent summers and quite a few more since then! My dad camped, as did my brother and quite a few of my best friends. Our girls, Caroline and Gigi, go off to camp for a month. We believe in the value of this experience. And we are grateful you have chosen Alpine.
Prior to lunch, we gathered the entire camp in the gym for a welcome and introductions to key staff members. I mentioned in that meeting that it’s perfectly normal if you get a bit homesick the first few days. I encouraged guys to talk to their counselors about it - an almost sure cure. We talked about some rules and boundaries as well as speaking up if someone says or does something that makes you uncomfortable.I also asked all of our first year counselors to stand up, pointing out that our first year campers are in good company, even if they feel a little out of place at first.
This afternoon each boy had a chance to sign up for his activities. They also played some “get to know you” games by cabin and age group. And we covered a few first day necessities like health checks and swim checks.
For lunch we enjoyed a first day Alpine tradition: homemade chicken and dumplings, green peas, corn off the cob, and miniature hand rolled biscuits. And we were delighted at the end of the meal when the KB’s brought out bowls of rainbow sherbet for dessert.
Tomorrow we’ll hit the ground running with activities - boys make friends doing things together - so we won’t waste any time. I’ll update this blog periodically, maybe not every day. Some days are crazier than others! Be sure and also check out our photos each day at our new site, images.alpinecamp.com. You should have received a password via email yesterday. If not, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for your password. Also, follow us on Facebook, facebook.com/alpinecamp, Instagram, @alpinecamp4boys, and Twitter, @alpinecamp4boys. We’ll be posting video content via those sites.
Thanks for reading and good night for now, Glenn